When you walk into a restaurant, regardless if it’s a dive bar or a five-star trattoria, you deserve to be treated with respect. However, if everyone from the hostess to the bartender to the other diners is judging you and, thus, the service you receive could be lacking. When taking someone on a date especially, good service is a must. The shortcut way to good service and even special treatment is an “in”with the bartender.
Experiment with different restaurants by having dinner at the bar. Decide which ones you like and which ones you don’t. While you are at it, start befriending the bartenders. Talk about all the great things that you’ve heard about the restaurants, the food, and the service. Make sure to tip well.
Then when it is time to bring a date to the restaurant, call ahead to make reservations but be sure to get drinks at the bar beforehand. This way, the bartender can help you get a better table or even get you a table quickly if you didn’t call ahead.
By treating the bartender well, you have updated your status at the restaurant. This results from the bartender and maitre d being able to log information about your dining preferences, your allergies, and that you are a frequent customer.
Other things to remember, by making reservations through Open Table you will not only have preferential service but can also make special requests, such as, “It’s our anniversary and we love chocolate cake.” These can add special touches to an already great evening.